Popular Features

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  • 2019 NFL Combine Betting: 40-Yard Dash Times & More Drills
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  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Andy Isabella, UMass
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    2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Andy Isabella, UMass

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The Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018: The Final 20

The Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018:  The Final 20
RotoExperts Staff February 1, 2019 9:50PM EST

The FNTSY Sports Network/RotoExperts Countdown of the Top 100 Concludes with Guest Analysis from Marshall Faulk

Each weekday on the FNTSY Sports Network and RotoExperts.com prior to Super Bowl Sunday, we revealed selections from our Top 100 Fantasy Football Players of 2018. To make our final determinations and rankings, we began with a comprehensive mathematical formula generated by our Chief Technical Officer and Full Time Statistician Arturo Galletti with input from Scott Engel. We took into account full season production with a minor boost for difference-making performances in Weeks 13 through 16, when Fantasy owners needed to clinch postseason berths and participated in their playoffs. DFS and Best Ball usage and results were also factored in, but there was a primary emphasis on seasonal Fantasy Football. These rankings are based on much more than just seasonal totals. They weighed projected production against actual results by position. We did some math to estimate the average QB, WR, TE, RB and Flex scores for each week for rostered players using consensus rankings, typical roster construction and actual scores.  We worked out each player versus the average value of the top projected players for each week. Then the team of Engel, Jim Day Davis Mattek and Gregg Sussman made some subjective tweaks. In the final installments of the Top 100 Reveal on the Fantasy Football Frenzy, Corey Parson, Chris Ventra and Day discussed the ranking formula and Players 20 to 1 in the below videos. The Top 20 are also featured in capsules recapping their 2018 Fantasy Football seasons. NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk was a guest analyst for Players 20 through 15.

More From The Top 100: Players 100 to 91 | 90 to 81 | 80 to 71 | 70 to 61 | 60 to 51 | 50 to 41 | 40 to 31 | 30 to 21

 WATCH: Players 20 through 15 with guest analyst Marshall Faulk

  1. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers

PPR Points: 258.7 (16.2 PPG), TE3

ADP: 136 (TE13)

88 receptions (136 targets), 1,377 yards, 5 touchdowns

After Travis Kelce set the tight end receiving yards record in Week 17, the 49ers still had some game to play and banded together to get George Kittle the yardage he needed to steal the record from Kelce. Kittle came into this season as a value pick at a thin position and was drafted later in many leagues. The second-year tight end was the security blanket for the 49ers’ cavalcade of backup quarterbacks, scoring 13 or more points nine times, including a monster 34-point day in Week 14.

  1. Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, New York Giants

Points: 230.3 (14.4 PPG), WR15

ADP: 12 (WR3)

77 receptions (124 targets), 1,052 yards, 6 touchdowns, 1 fumble, 2 passing touchdowns

It was another injury-shortened, frustrating season for Odell Beckham, Jr. After playing in just four games last year, he missed four in 2018 after suffering a quad injury in Week 12. He played through it in Week 13 but was then shut down for the rest of the season. When he was on the field, he was mostly his old self, scoring below 18 points just four times and scoring in single digits just once. His 17.7 PPG for games he played in would have tied him for 27th-most Fantasy points overall and put him as WR10. OBJ has played all 16 games just once in his five seasons, in 2016; he came into the league injured—he missed the first four games of his rookie season with a hamstring injury—and has continued to be a big injury risk since.

 

  1. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Points: 307.3 (19.2 PPG), WR7

ADP: 34.4 (WR13)

113 receptions (153 targets), 1,373 yards, 9 touchdowns, 1 fumble

There was no receiver hotter than Adam Thielen over the first eight weeks, when he set the record for most games in a row to start a season with 100 yards receiving and tied Calvin Johnson’s record for most consecutive games with 100 yards. Over that span, he averaged 25.25 points. But that came to a stop in a hurry with a 22-yard day in Week Nine (though he did score to salvage the Fantasy outing). Over the back half of the season, he topped 100 yards just once, which was also the only time he scored more than 15.6 points. The strong first half outweighed the weak second half in terms of cumulative season stats—Thielen set new career highs in receptions, yards, touchdowns and yards per game.

  1. Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Points: 296.9 (18.6 PPG), WR8

ADP: 42 (WR16)

111 receptions (166 targets), 1,426 yards, 7 touchdowns, 1 fumble

In his sophomore season, JuJu Smith-Schuster did so well that it apparently got on Antonio Brown’s nerves. Regardless, it certainly turned out well for the Steelers’ offense and Fantasy lineups. While the second-year receiver was prone to some hiccups—he scored 13.4 or fewer points five times—for the most part he was a stud, racking up six games with 20 or more points, including 20.5 in Week 16. He topped 100 yards eight times, three more times than Brown. He finished with the fifth-most receiving yards in the NFL despite being a WR2 for the Steelers.

  1. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

Points: 275.5 (17.2 PPG), RB8

ADP: 10.4 (RB9)

885 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns, 50 receptions (66 targets), 490 yards, 4 touchdowns

Melvin Gordon was drafted as the RB9 in many leagues and finished as RB8, but not on a path that made his owners happy. In games he played, Gordon actually averaged about 23 points, which would have made him RB4. However, he missed four games with injuries. He scored in single digits just once, and less than 20 points just four times. Owners were certainly peeved at the timing of his injury as well, as he missed Weeks 13 through 15, also known as crunch time and the start of Fantasy Playoffs. He did return in time for the Fantasy Super Bowl, but scored a relatively pedestrian (for him) 14.4 points.

  1. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Points: 280 (17.5 PPG), RB6

ADP: 167.6 (RB55)

973 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns, 2 fumbles, 55 receptions (71 targets), 497 yards, 1 touchdown

James Conner’s ADP steadily rose as it became more and more likely that Le’Veon Bell was going to hold out until he got paid. Much to the dismay of Bell drafters who didn’t get Conner, Bell never returned and Conner thrived in the lead back role. It was clear he was ready after just Week One, when he scored 34.2 points. He reached that height two more times, scoring 34.5 in Week Five and 38.2 in Week Eight. He did drop off in some weeks, including a three-game stretch where he averaged just 12.2 PPG from Week 10 to Week 12. He bounced back in Week 13 but then got hurt, only returning in Week 17, too late for most. He was still one of the top feel-good stories of the season.

WATCH: Players 14 through 11

  1. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Points: 334 (20.9 PPG), WR1

ADP: 27 (WR10)

87 receptions (137 targets), 1,429 yards, 12 touchdowns, 22 rushes, 151 yards, 1 touchdown

The concern with Tyreek Hill heading into this season was that he would be too reliant on the deep ball to be a consistent Fantasy WR1. Well, in that high-powered Chiefs offense, he had plenty of opportunities to break off big plays, so it wasn’t too much of an issue. He recorded seven catches for 169 yards and two scores against the Chargers in Week One. He was prone to the occasional dud—he had 10 or fewer points four times, including a poorly timed 8.1-point effort in Week 15—but balanced out with monster performances, scoring 20 or more points eight times, including over 40 twice (and 39.2 once). There will always be regression fears because of the 13 touchdowns, but he and Mahomes developed quick chemistry.

  1. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Points: 417.1 (26.1 PPG), QB1

ADP: 114.6 (QB 16)

5,097 passing yards, 50:12 TD:INT, 2 fumbles, 272 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns

The Chiefs took a risk on starting the unproven Patrick Mahomes, and it paid off big time. Those of you that drafted Mahomes also took a risk, and it also paid off big time; he was on 35.5 percent of ESPN championship teams, second-most among all players. Following his Week Two performance­—326 yards and six touchdowns against the Steelers—it was clear he was a top talent, and he never let up. His worst game was in Week Five against the Jaguars, and he still scored 15.8 points; it was one of only three games where he scored under 20 points. Mahomes threw for over 5,000 yards and had 50 touchdown passes in his first season as a starter (he was also the only player to break 400 standard points).

  1. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

Points: 315.5 (19.7 PPG), WR6

ADP: 17.4 (WR5)

125 receptions (147 targets), 1,405 yards, 9 touchdowns, 2 fumbles

Michael Thomas could not have started the season any hotter, scoring over 30 points in back-to-back weeks. He was prone to some cooler stretches—he had under 12 points in back-to-back weeks twice—but he balanced out by scoring at least 19 points in nine games. He came up in big in the Fantasy Super Bowl, scoring 27.9 points in Week 16 against the Steelers. He led the league in receptions with 125, which was due in large part to a weak group behind him. It was the third-year receiver’s best season as a pro, which is pretty impressive considering he also had over 1,000 yards receiving in his first two campaigns. Maybe most impressive was his 85 percent catch percentage, third-highest in the NFL.

  1. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Points: 325.9 (20.4 PPG), WR4

ADP: 14.4 (WR4)

113 receptions (170 targets), 1,677 yards, 8 touchdowns, 2 fumbles

Julio Jones scored in 2018! Eight times! We saw it, We swear it happened. The painfully true meme of Julio Jones never finding the end zone finally ended in Week Nine, breaking a 12-game regular season scoreless streak stretching back to 2017. Jones also was the receiving leader for the second time in his career, picking up 1,677 yards. That was due in some part to the emergence of Calvin Ridley and some good games from Mohamed Sanu, which helped keep the pressure off him despite the Falcons’ dismal rushing “attack.” A top pick finishing where he was drafted—Jones was selected as WR4 in most drafts and finished as such—is always good to have for peace of Fantasy mind

WATCH: Players 10 through 6
.

  1. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Points: 280.3 (17.5), TE2

ADP: 39.8 (TE3)

116 receptions (156 targets), 1,163 yards, 8 touchdowns

It was a career year for Zach Ertz, as the Eagles were otherwise bereft of consistency from their pass-catchers. He set new highs in targets and receptions by a large margin and crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his six-year career. He also started all 16 games for the first time in his career, a beacon of health at a position severely lacking it. He was more prone to fits and starts than Travis Kelce, posting five single digit games, but he also scored 40.5 points in Week 10 and 35 in Week 16. Overall, he still scored 20 more often than he scored in single digits, which is impressive production from a tight end.

  1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Points: 329.1 (20.6 PPG), RB5

ADP: 3.6 (RB4)

1,434 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns, 1 fumble, 77 receptions (95 targets), 567 yards, 3 touchdowns

Ezekiel Elliott really got the job done for owners this season, justifying his top selection. And it’s surprising, considering he scored the same number of touchdowns this season as he did last year, when he was suspended for six games due to domestic violence. But despite the relative lack of touchdowns, Elliott buoyed his production by averaging 133.4 yards from scrimmage this season and emerging as a superb pass-catching asset for the first time. He scored in single digits just once, against Washington in Week Six. He was steadily dominant, including a five-week run from Week 10 to Week 14 when he scored over 30 points more (three times) than he didn’t (twice). He failed to top 100 yards from scrimmage just four times, and none of those outings came after the Cowboys’ Week Eight bye.

  1. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

Points: 294.6 (18.4 PPG), TE1

ADP: 28.2 (TE2)

103 receptions (150 targets), 1,336 yards, 10 touchdowns, 1 fumble

It was yet another dependably outstanding season from Travis Kelce, who finished 10th in receiving yards among all pass-catchers. He posted over 1,000 receiving yards for the third straight season, and his 10 touchdowns were a career high. Outside of a 1.6-point Week One, Kelce managed to avoid the usual flux of tight ends, with his other season low still 10.4 points (in Week 16). But he was more than just steady; he was the definite standard at his position. He posted 19 or more points eight times and had five 100-yard receiving games.

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Points: 333.5 (20.8 PPG), WR2

ADP: 10.2 (WR2)

115 receptions (163 targets), 1,572 yards, 11 touchdowns, 2 fumbles

DeAndre Hopkins finished just 0.5 points out of WR1, but did so very differently from Hill. He topped 30 points just twice but provided constant elite production. His worst game was 12.4 points against the Titans in Week 12. His Fantasy owners were thankful for the timing of his best game of the season, which came in the first round of most playoffs, a 39-point performance against the Jets in Week 15. We saw what Hopkins could do with no better than warm bodies at quarterback; Year Two with Deshaun Watson reminded us just exactly how outstanding he can be.

  1. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Points: 323.7 (20.2 PPG), WR5

ADP: 5.4 (WR1)

104 receptions (168 targets), 1,297 yards, 15 touchdowns

While he may not have quite reached the highs of last season in terms of yards, Antonio Brown scored a touchdown more often than he did not and led the league in receiving TDs. Owners are happy he waited to have his blowup with Ben Roethlisberger until after their Week 16 Fantasy Super Bowls, when he had easily his best game of the season, a monstrous 44.5-point performance on 14 receptions for 185 yards and two scores. Brown posted less than 15 points just once. There is some uncertainty about his future in Pittsburgh, but he has the superior talent to succeed wherever he is.

WATCH: Players 5 through 1

  1. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

Points: 329.6 (20.6 PPG), WR3

ADP: 17.8 (WR6)

111 receptions (169 targets), 1,386 yards, 13 touchdowns

Davante Adams lived up to the hype as the Packers’ top receiver. He was Aaron Rodgers’ only dependable option and an incredibly reliable one for Fantasy owners as well. In his worst game—Week Nine against the Patriots—he had six catches, 40 yards and a touchdown for 16 points. He scored 20 or more points more than he didn’t (eight total times, including each of the last four weeks of the 16-week Fantasy season), including a 35.2-point outburst against the 49ers in Week Six. He’ll have a new, potentially more innovative head coach in Matt LaFleur next season in what could be a resurgent year for the Packers.

  1. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

Points: 354.2 (22.1 PPG), RB4

ADP: 6.4 (RB6)

883 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns, 81 receptions (105 targets), 709 yards, 4 touchdowns

After dominating in a split with Mark Ingram last season, there were some worries that Alvin Kamara would struggle to replicate his efficiency or would lose out on touches once Ingram came back from a four-game suspension. He flourished in those first four games, posting over 40 points twice, delivering a 34-point game and he had a relatively “quieter” 17.9-point game. And besides Ingram’s first game back, when he saw a season-low nine touches, Kamara stayed in the driver’s seat, out-snapping his backfield mate over the rest of the season. While his rate stats predictably went down, his rushing volume went up, as did his red zone usage, hence the 18 total touchdowns.

  1. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Points: 385.8 (24.1 PPG), RB1

ADP: 6.2 (RB5)

1,307 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns, 91 receptions (121 targets), 721 yards, 4 touchdowns

The Giants drafting Saquon Barkley in the first round did not work out for them right away in terms of wins and losses. Drafting Saquon Barkley in the first round of your Fantasy Football Draft most certainly did. Over his first two games he showed how incredibly versatile he can be: In Week One, he had 106 yards and a score on 18 carries against the Jaguars for 20.8 points. In Week Two against the Cowboys, he was held to just 28 yards rushing, but picked up another 80 through the air on 14 catches, scoring 24.8 points without finding the end zone. He led the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 2,028. Barkley was every bit the next Ezekiel Elliott he was supposed to be.

  1. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Points: 372.1 (23.3 PPG), RB3

ADP: 1 (RB1)

1,251 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns, 1 fumble, 59 receptions (81 targets), 867 receiving yards, six touchdowns

Heading into 2018 draft time, there were four names being discussed as the number one overall pick: Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley. If you—like most—went with Gurley, you made the right decision. Gurley’s owners may have a bad taste in their mouths after he missed their Fantasy Super Bowl with a knee injury, but you most likely didn’t get there without him. In the 14 games he played, he scored 30 or more points in half of them. There were only two games where he didn’t find the end zone. Gurley likely would have repeated as RB1 had he not missed the final two games (which was due in part to the Rams being overly cautious).

  1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

Points: 385.5 (24.1 PPG), RB2

ADP: 15 (RB11)

1,098 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns, 1 fumble, 107 receptions (124 targets), 867 yards, 6 touchdowns

Christian McCaffrey was oh-so-close to being RB1 this season, finishing just 0.5 points behind Barkley. He was a PPR godsend, setting the record for most receptions by a running back, passing Matt Forte; he averaged almost six receptions per game. He was the player most featured on Fantasy Super Bowl winning teams. He won’t slip into the second round again next season. McCaffrey scored less than 20 PPR Fantasy points just once from Weeks 8 through 16, as he was the arguably the best player to have on your Fantasy team when it counted the most in PPR formats. McCaffrey was an incredible do-it-all producer and an unstoppable force despite being surrounded by question marks on the Carolina offense.

 

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